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Fritillaries and interiority in West Dean Saturday, April 12, 2014

Just spent a night and a morning in West Dean, Edward James’s extraordinary estate in Sussex, now run as a foundation for musicians, artists, makers, writers. The glorious kitchen gardens are approached through a walled garden where an orchard is coming into leaf, with a carpet of fritillaries at the feet of the trees. I’ve never seen so many of these  flowers before. I find them moving, I’m not sure why. It may be the speckles, it may be the way they hang their heads. I was there to speak at a lit fest mostly for debut writers called First Read More

Recent Questions

Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Arianne Marie Cerilla

April 14th 2014

Hi, Mr. Nicholson. I love The Wind on Fire Series. I read it in 2010 when a classmate of mine lent it to me. Now, after four years, I bought my own copies and am starting it again. Are there any plans for a movie? This will truly make a great film.

William Nicholson responded:

No signs of anyone wanting to make a film at present, I'm afraid. But I'm delighted you like the books.

Posted by Rubens

April 14th 2014

Hi. I know I sent in a question a few days ago but I unfortunately I must send another. I was thinking of writing a story but cant get any original ideas.You, Suzanne Collins, Tolkien and Jeff Kinney have all inspired me but everytime I write I replicate there/your writing in different words. I have seen other posts saying you started writing The Wind Singer after getting annoyed about exams.So is there a secret trick or do I just base it of a problem I see in the world?

William Nicholson responded:

There's no secret trick. Don't worry if you find yourself influenced by other writers. Your own way of writing, and what you write about, will be your own thing; and anyway, it's a good way of learning the craft. It's true I was triggered by anger at exams, but anything will do as a trigger, so long as you feel it in your gut. For a book to have life, it has to come from somewhere in you that has life. You should get a real buzz out of the process of writing: that's the sign that it matters to you. And if it matters to you, maybe it'll matter to others.

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Past and current works


  • The Society of Others
  • The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life
  • All the Hopeful Lovers
  • The Golden Hour
  • Motherland
  • Reckless


  • The Windsinger
  • Slaves of the Mastery
  • Firesong
  • Seeker
  • Jango
  • Noman
  • Rich and Mad


  • Shadowlands
  • Gladiator
  • Mandela
  • Les Miserables
  • Firelight
  • Nell
  • Sarafina
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age


  • The Retreat from Moscow
  • Shadowlands
  • Katherine Howard